Study Shows Newer Antiepileptic Drugs and Mood Stabilizers May be Safer Choice during Pregnancy

Birth Defects Research Cover- Depression during Pregnancy Issue

Nearly 13% of women experience depression during pregnancy and the rates after delivery are even higher.

In a newly published journal issue of Birth Defects Research: Depression and Its Treatments during Pregnancy, studies take a closer look at maternal depression, its effects and the effects of various treatments of the disease on a developing baby with one study showing newer medications may be safer choices.

The scientific journal released today (see the Overview, doi: 10.1002/bdr2.1080) includes articles covering the impact untreated maternal depression may have on a developing fetus, factors to consider if treating depression in a pregnant patient (DOI: 10.1002/bdr2.1074), the potential effects of antidepressant use during pregnancy on pregnancy outcomes such as birth defects (DOI: 10.1002/bdr2.1078), and neurobehavioral development of children who were exposed to antidepressants in utero (DOI: 10.1002/bdr2.1076). “Understanding how to effectively treat depression in pregnant women and minimize risk to the developing fetus is critical,” explained Kembra Howdeshell, PhD, Health Scientist at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and co-editor of the special issue of Birth Defects Research. “Nearly 13% of women experience depression during pregnancy and the rates after delivery are even higher.”

While the issue includes studies reviewing selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) use during pregnancy, one article led by Asher Ornoy, MD, the special issue’s co-editor who is a physician and researcher at Hebrew University Hadassah Medical School in Jerusalem, focused on the outcomes of pregnant women who used non-SSRI…

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